THE USE OF INSTAGRAM
AS A PRACTICAL AND MODERN TOOL
FOR SPORTS NUTRITION COUNSELLING
Martina BALDAUF, Pia DEMLER, Christoph EBENBICHLER & Christian RASCHNER
Olympic Training Center, Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Austria
International Sport + Exercise Nutrition Conference
19 – 21 December 2017
Newcastle – Great Britain
Sports nutrition science forms the basis of an evidence-based nutritional counselling. As today‘s
generation of digital native athletes is using social media, consultants have to develop a new
language and methods to transfer the scientic facts into practice-oriented information athletes
can work with. Among the social media landscape, Instagram is a commonly used digital platform
for young athletes to present and gather sports-related information.
The aim of this long-term project is to establish and promote an innovative sports nutrition
information channel on Instagram for athletes and their sports environment.This is an application-
oriented and novel approach to point up information in a practical and visually underlined manner.
The Instagram prole ‚sporternaehrungtirol’ (sports nutrition Tyrol) started in October 2016.
It illustrates inter alia: science based information on nutrition, diet composition, timing of eating,
nutrients and nutritional information for an athletes daily life.The posted recipes consider seasonal
and available ingredients, time-saving and comfortable preparation, and are presented in a visually
appealing way. Each post is written bilingual (German, English) using an easily understandable
language and explanations of scientic terminology.
Figure 2: Overview of the feed ‘sporternaehrungtirol’. Figure 4: Cocoa as an example of a food-associated post (November 2016).
Figure 3: Tuna-Avocado-Salad as an example of a meal-associated post (September 17).
Figure 6: Infused water as an example of a uid-associated post (July 2017).
Figure 5: Avocado-cocoa-cream as an application example integrating a recently
presented food (Figure 3) - including a recipe (November 2016).
Since the beginning, the Instagram prole experienced a strong increase in interest with currently
more than 3,400 followers and 100 posts (Figure 1, 2). On average two posts are published weekly
with about 80 likes per post. Contents are consciously chosen in relation to currently discussed
issues from sports nutrition science (Figure 3, 4, 5, 6).
The use of a modern social media platform such as Instagram generates a great tool to support
and encourage athletes to deal with sport nutrition as a major component of their daily training
routine. With new ideas from the different posts the food and meal diversity will expand. The
information provided builds a modern way to continuously confront the athletes with sports
nutritional information and facilitate the involvement into the athlete’s daily life. Provided practical
details and support is extensively accepted and the response and feedback to this project is strong.
Demands for full recipes and even proposals for new posts are numerous.
Figure 1: Short facts